Thursday, January 5, 2012

End of December Analysis

A few days late, that is! I guess I'm not used to having and maintaining goals any more, seeing as the last set of goals I did for myself was in November of 2010. I didn't set a single goal for the entirety of 2011... helpful in some ways, detrimental in others. On the whole, December was very successful for being a simple feel-out month, one in which I tested out Bay Girl's temperament and reactions to stimuli. I honestly can not believe the transformation in her... she's a different animal already and we've only just begun!

December Goals:

1) Continue desensitization to touch (touch with hands, grooming tools, towels, etc, on legs, body, belly, and face)
Success! I've had great luck with touching Bay Girl all over, especially while in the crossties (she still sucks away a bit when you touch her anywhere but her neck when she is out in the pasture). While in the crossties, she lets me touch her face, belly, legs, and everywhere else... hooray! She has also hesitantly been letting me rub her all over with the towel, something she's not particularly sure about yet. This is particularly important to me because she will eventually need to wear a blanket with regularity.... and maybe someday, she will carry a saddle. She is still hesitant about her body being touched while out in the field, but we will continue to work on this.

2) Introduce turnout blanket
Success! Or well, mostly. But just because we got it on once doesn't mean we'll be able to do it again. I intend on making this a regular event in our daily handling, not just on an as-needed basis.

3) Continue working on not just catching, but haltering as well
Again, success! I discovered shortly ago that her aversion to haltering is probably due to the fact that she is quite certain that anything moving towards her head is dewormer. She was probably only ever caught for unpleasanties like that in her former life, and she was reacting accordingly with a "no please don't catch me and shove crap down my throat!" Once I figured that out, haltering her became really quite simple. All I had to do was do it regularly. Eventually, she realized that I was not coming to do something mean and horrible to her. She is still a little hesitant, but this will continue to diminish as time goes on.

4) Work on picking up front and hind feet with no kicking, pulling, or wiggling!
Success! She's actually been better about her hinds than her fronts, very interestingly. She offers up some very small hesitation on occasion with her fronts when first picking them up, but once they are up, she stands quietly for picking and cleaning. She has a bit of thrush on her left front which I am topically treating (would love to give her a good CleanTrax soak but that will NOT be happening anytime soon!!), but it is clearing. I'll have to do a post on her feet.. they are quite interesting!

5) Go on walks around property and desensitize to anything scary we might find!
Success! I didn't focus as much on this as I would have liked, but what walking we did do was successful and pleasant. Her leading needs a bit of work... actually, she needs regular groundwork in general if I am to be honest with myself. I'm not sure how much I wanna do with her being so very pregnant, but this is something that will eventually need to be addressed.

And onto January.....

January Goals:
1) Continue desensitization to touch (touch with hands, grooming tools, towels, etc, on legs, body, belly, and face)
2) Work on blanketing regularly (a few times a week, dangling leg straps, etc)
3) Introduce dosing orally with tasty things (working on deworming phobia)
4) Continue for walks around property
5) Set up a calendar schedule for her (like Gogo's old one)

Basically this is more of the same thing, only on the next level. More handling, more blanketing, more haltering, more leading, more everything! I'll have a calender set up for her soon... but first, I get to go see SOPHIE! T-minus 2 days and I will be sitting on her.... I can't wait!


  1. I'd love to read a post on her feet! This is such an interesting story, I just want more. Best wishes when you go see Sophie!

  2. Here's to 2012, I hope it's a pearler for you and all your horsey friends! <3

  3. When is Bay Girls baby due? I can't wait to see what you find out about Sophie as well! I am keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  4. Good luck with the January goals. Your doing really well with her :)

  5. You're doing such a great job with her! Looking forward to reading more about your work together. And for the visit to see Sophie!